Training the Next Generation - NAS Fieldschools, Cyprus
In 2012 the Honor Frost Foundation provided a grant to the Nautical Archaeology Society to help establish a formal partnership between the NAS and the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus (ARU, UCy).
Following productive meetings held in September 2013 the two organisations agreed to work together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that now guides all future collaborative projects by the partners. The core aims of the agreed MoU are to develop exchanges and co-operation in teaching and research in furtherance of the advancement and dissemination of information in underwater archaeology; and to co-operate to promote, facilitate and implement co-operation in the following programmes and activities.
In 2013 the NAS and the Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) of the ARU, UCy, agreed to the development of collaborative international educational fieldschools in underwater archaeology aimed at students of archaeology at the University of Cyprus, the wider community on Cyprus as well as international participants including students from the Eastern Mediterranean region. The partners also agreed to the establishment, delivery and support for the NAS Training Programme on Cyprus, embedded in the ARU, UCy, as a mechanism to learn underwater archaeology fieldwork skills; to identify opportunities for co-operation in joint research and development in the discipline of underwater archaeology; and finally for the promotion of MARELab as an Eastern Mediterranean regional training centre of excellence in underwater archaeology.
It is the belief of the partners that the activities of the Eastern Mediterranean regional training centre will build strong collaborative relationships between all parties and across geographical boundaries. The partners designed a series of underwater archaeology fieldschools for students of archaeology and professional divers.
The principle aims of the underwater archaeology field schools are; to develop the underwater archaeological skills of students of archaeology at the University of Cyprus, the wider community on Cyprus, students of archaeology from the Eastern Mediterranean region as well as other international participants; to foster and build collaborative relationships between all participants attending field schools; and to encourage inclusion of professional divers on Cyprus to work together with archaeologists and share their knowledge and skills.
The first of these fieldschools in August 2015, was delivered for students of archaeology from around the world, with scholarships being offered for students from the Eastern Mediterranean. The fieldschool was held on the likely ancient anchorage site at Xylophagou.
The 2015 fieldschool report can be found here
The second fieldschool in 2016 was aimed at technical divers from Cyprus and around the world on the amazing Mazotos shipwreck in 45m of water.
The 2016 fieldschool report can be found here
The third fieldschool in 2017 was aimed at students of archaeology from around the world, with scholarships being offered for students from the eastern Mediterranean. The third event was held on the Nissia shipwreck in Farmagusta Bay.
The 2017 fieldschool report can be found here